Personal characteristics of World War Two survivor offspring related to the presence of indirect intrusions

Background: A substantial proportion of clinical World War Two survivor offspring reports intrusions about war events they did not experience themselves. 


Objective: To help identify factors that contribute to the development of such indirect intrusions (i.e. intrusions about non-self-experienced traumatic events), we examined the personal characteristics of survivor offspring that were related to the presence of indirect intrusions. To explore the specificity of these relationships, we compared characteristics related to the presence of indirect and direct intrusions (i.e. intrusions about self-experienced traumatic events). 


Methods: Participants (N = 98) were post-war offspring of World War Two survivors in treatment in one of two clinics specialized in mental health services for war victims. We assessed the presence of indirect and direct intrusions as well as the following personal characteristics:
gender, education level, trait dissociation, affect intensity, attentional control, mental imagery, fantasy proneness, and current psychopathology.

Results: Reports of indirect intrusions were more frequent in individuals high in fantasy proneness, trait dissociation, and current psychopathology. Reports of direct intrusions were more frequent in women, individuals scoring high on trait dissociation, affect intensity, and 
current psychopathology. Fantasy proneness was a unique correlate of indirect intrusions.

Conclusions: These findings are consistent with the idea that intrusions are the result of (re)constructive processes affected by several factors including personal characteristics.

P. Dashorst, R. Huntjens, T. M. Moorena, R. J. Klebera, and P. J. de Jong | 2022
In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology ; ISSN: 2000-8066 | 13 | 2 | August | 2101349
Dissociative Disorders, Fantasy Proneness, Gender Issues, Historical Trauma, Intergenerational Effects, Intrusive Thoughts, Memory, Mental health, Offspring, Personal Narrative, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopathology, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en), Research, Survivors, Traumatic events, World War II